Research at Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology

Researchers at Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) collaborate across 9 different departments to discover and innovate new ideas, inventions and improve on our quality of life, all made possible by state of the art facilities and equipment.

WIN research is global. Its membership is interdisciplinary and collaborative. Its focus is on the future and on improving the quality of life for all.

Discovery & Innovation

Science and discovery is at the heart of our research. But it is our commitment to real-world innovation and application engineering that defines nanotechnology research at WIN.

We believe that discovery and innovation happens at the interfaces of traditional disciplines. For that reason, WIN research faculty are drawn from 9 departments: Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmacy, Physics, and Systems Design Engineering.

Research Thematic Areas


Smart and Functional Materials 

This includes but not limited to fundamental condensed matter physics, soft matter, materials characterization, nanomaterials,  graphene and other 2D materials, quantum materials, nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, DNA self-assembly, biomaterial and nanocellulose, new materials for additive manufacturing (i.e., 3D printing)


Connected Devices

This includes but not limited to sensors (quantum-, nano- and microsensors), MEMS/NEMS, flexible electronics, wearable devices, lab-on-chip,  use of internet-of-things and artificial intelligence for sensors, human-machine interfaces, and other connected devices.



Next Generation Energy Systems

This includes but not limited to fundamental understanding of transport processes in energy devices, battery, fuel cells, catalysis, low-carbon sustainable technologies, artificial photosynthesis.


Theranostics and Therapeutics

This includes but not limited to targeted drug delivery, tissue engineering, minimally invasive treatment of diseases, immunotherapy, and medical imaging.


Working Groups

Several distinct working groups have evolved out of the 4 major research theme areas. These are groups of individual researchers who share common interests and collaborate together.Our focus is collaboration, partnership and facilities sharing through interdisciplinary working groups.

  • Nano-materials for processes and manufacturing
  • Nano-materials for energy
  • Metrology and nano-instrumentations
  • Micro- and nano-fluidics, MEMS/NEMS integration
  • Electronic materials, thin films, OLEDs and fabrication
  • Quantum-nano-photonics

These working groups have come together to write proposals in the following focused areas:

  • Flexible organic display screens for the transportation industry.
  • Atomically precise manufacturing and microscopy.
  • Mobile energy (for handheld devices).
  • Non-invasive screening for drug delivery, imaging and diagnostics.
  • Handheld biodiagnostic device for healthcare and the environment.